My father just handed me the following story (along with a page of silly "zen truths" jokes). The story says something important about about how to react to this life's griefs:
The young man had lost his job and didn't know which way to turn. So he went to see the old preacher.
Pacing about the preacher's study, the young man ranted about his problem. Finally he clenched his fist and shouted, "I've begged God to say something to help me. Tell me, Preacher, why doesn't God answer?"
The old preacher, who sat across the room, spoke something in reply, something so hushed it was indistinguishable. The young man stepped across the room. "What did you say?" he asked.
The preacher repeated himself, but again in a tone as soft as a whisper. So the young man moved closer until he was leaning on the preacher's chair.
"Sorry," he said. "I still didn't hear you." With their heads bent together, the old preacher spoke once more. "God sometimes whispers," he said, "so we will move closer to hear Him."
This time the young man heard and he understood.
We all want God's voice to thunder through the air with the answer to our problem. But God's is the still, small voice... the gentle whisper. Perhaps there's a reason.
Nothing draws human focus quite like a whisper. God's whisper means I must stop my ranting and move close to Him, until my head is bent together with His. And then, as I listen, I will find my answer. Better still, I find myself closer to God.
Labels: seeking understanding, suffering, voice of God